Lawyers Halted From Taking $2.7M of $3M Settlement

Pampers class-action suit settlement thrown out
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2013 12:47 PM CDT
Lawyers Halted From Taking $2.7M of $3M Settlement
A photo of Vic Mills, the Procter & Gamble Co. researcher who developed the disposable diaper Pampers, is displayed on a table with Pampers boxes and ads from the past 50 years in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

It turns out there is a limit to how shameless lawyers can be in paying themselves in class action lawsuits. A federal appeals court last week threw out a $3 million settlement that Procter & Gamble had agreed to in a class-action suit over its allegedly rash-inducing Pampers Dry Max diapers, because $2.73 million of that settlement went to the lawyers. That left only a couple hundred thousand to distribute among the few dozen named plaintiffs, who would have gotten $1,000 each, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Unnamed class members were given the right to a one-box refund—something the company had offered independent of the settlement. "The relief that this settlement provides to unnamed class members is illusory," one judge wrote, according to Bloomberg. "But one fact about this settlement is concrete and indisputable: $2.73 million is $2.73 million." It was a 2-1 decision; the dissenting judge pointed out that without the settlement class members would have gotten even less. P&G can now try to have the case dismissed or attempt to work out a new settlement, notes the Journal. (Read more Pampers stories.)

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